Republican Assembly Candidate Blakeslee Receives Donations From Medical Industry
Republican Sam Blakeslee, who is running for the 33rd District Assembly seat, has received about $28,000 from health care industry groups, including health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. Excluding contributions Blakeslee made, donations from health care industry groups account for about 18% of total donations to his campaign.
Blakeslee said that he has received donations from the medical industry make sense because of his support for reducing health care costs by limiting medical malpractice liability lawsuits. The California Medical Association, which supports restrictions on such cases, donated $6,000 to the Blakeslee campaign. Blakeslee, a financial planner with support from a number of businesses, said, "I am proud of the great breadth of support. There are some candidates who only have support from limited interests."
Blue Shield of California spokesperson Steven Bireneaum said the insurer has donated $1,000 to Blakeslee's campaign because of his pledges to reduce health care costs, the Tribune reports.
Democratic candidate Stew Jenkins said, "I think you can see (these companies) are investing in getting tax cuts for big business." Jenkins, who is a family law attorney, has received more donations from lawyers, whose contributions account for 8% of the candidate's donation total.
Attorney Dan O'Neil said he gave the Jenkins campaign $100 in part because he thought Jenkins would address rising health care costs differently than Blakeslee. "I suspect that Stew would be a person who was more concerned about consumers and less worried about insurance companies," O'Neil said (Griffy, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 10/16).